Cost of 2nd Avenue Subway extension to East Harlem balloons to $7.7B

(GOTHAMIST) Stephen Nessen, Clayton Guse, March 9, 2023

The cost of the Second Avenue Subway extension to East Harlem has ballooned to $7.7 billion, an $800 million increase from previous estimates, according to documents published on Thursday by the Federal Transit Administration.

The disclosure of the price jump came as the Biden administration announced a budget proposal that would give the MTA $497 million to begin work on the long-stalled project. But that money is a fraction of the $3.4 billion New York officials say they need from the feds to complete the extension.

“The federal government added contingency costs to the project and we are reviewing it,” said MTA spokesperson John McCarthy.

The new price tag includes interest payments on debt the MTA expects to take out to build the subway extension. The feds reported the previous price tag at $6.9 billion, but the MTA reported the number at $6.3 billion, a figure that did not include debt financing costs.

The project would extend the subway line by 1.5 miles from East 96th Street. It would add three new stations: one at East 106th Street, another at East 116th Street, and a new level beneath the existing platforms at Lexington Avenue and 125th Street.

The MTA dug out Second Avenue tunnels between East 99th and East 105th streets and between East 110th and East 120th streets in the 1970s before the city’s financial crisis in 1975 halted work on the project.

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